“Now Concerning the Collection” – Part 3: Use of the Treasury

Collection Plate

Some question whether we even have Bible authority for a church treasury. While the term “church treasury” is not used in the New Testament, the concept certainly is. In Acts 4:32-35, aid was provided for those in need using funds that had been pooled together. This collection of donations was, for all intents and purposes, a treasury. We clearly see that the church in Jerusalem had a treasury into which individual Christians deposited money. The apostles then used this treasury to distribute to those in need.

The concept of a church treasury is also found in Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians. Paul was coming to take money they had raised to Jerusalem to benefit needy saints (1 Corinthians 16:3). In order that the “gift” would be ready and that “no collections be made when I [Paul] come” (1 Corinthians 16:2), the church was to take up a collection “on the first day of every week.” These funds that were collected every week were saved so they would be ready when Paul arrived. Where were they saved? In the church treasury. Again, the term “church treasury” is not found in the New Testament; but as we have noticed, the concept certainly is. Congregations have Bible authority to have a treasury into which they can collect funds for safe keeping until the time when these funds are to be used.

But do we have authority to use the church treasury for just anything or are there certain things to which we must be limited? That is certainly an important question. We have authority for a treasury, but do we have the right to use that money for anything we choose? No! Ultimately, the money in the church treasury belongs to the Lord. After all, the church itself belongs to Christ. He “purchased [it] with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). He is the “head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). He possesses “all authority” (Matthew 28:18) – we possess none. Therefore, we must use the funds from the treasury of His church in the ways He has authorized.
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The All Sufficiency of the Church

Country Church

When we speak of the church being “all sufficient,” what do we mean? The claim that the church is all sufficient means that the church is fully capable of doing all the work God gave it to do. It does not need the aid of institutions to carry out this work. Christians do not need to look to other institutions or organizations to do the work that can be done through the church.

The Bible speaks of the church in two different ways – the universal church and the local church. Which way are we using the term “church” when we say the church is all sufficient? Is the universal church all sufficient? Of course. The universal church is composed of all the believers who have been baptized into the body of Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27). But what about the local church? To say the church is all sufficient universally, but not locally, could lead one to accept the “sponsoring church arrangement.” But the New Testament teaches that the local church is all sufficient, fully capable of doing the work God gave for it to do.
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Personal Evangelism

Personal Evangelism

Sometimes we speak of the “works of the church.” We use this type of language to refer to the works of evangelism, edification, and benevolence. It may be more accurate to describe these as works God has given His people to do. These works do not exclusively belong to the church because individuals can and should do them as well. We do these works collectively (through the organization of the local church) and individually. With regard to evangelism, sometimes we may spend so much time talking about evangelism being a work of the church that we forget to remind ourselves that it is also the work of individual Christians. Let us notice some ways in which we, as individuals, can help reach the lost and bring them to Christ.
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Church Growth in the New Testament

The churches of men have come up with many devices to produce numerical growth. They cater to man’s desires in order to draw them into their number. They have activities, host events, and make every sort of “ministry” they can think of that will appeal to people. Instead of looking to the denominations for how to produce church growth, we should look to the New Testament. Paul said when we preach and teach the gospel, God is the one who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). Therefore, all we can do is follow His plan. What caused the New Testament church to grow?
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The Work of an Evangelist

Preacher

Paul instructed the young preacher Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). The charge that the apostle gave to him (2 Timothy 4:1-5) shows what the work of an evangelist is and why it is such an important work.
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